Invesco Perpetual is currently focusing on ensuring data quality standards are being met in order to support the buy side firm’s fair value processes, regulatory compliance and the risk and performance function, explained head of data management Ian Shrubsole. “We want to be able to rationalise and consolidate our operations, but we also need to support all the different end users across the firm in terms of their different data requirements,” he explained to delegates to last week’s FIMA in London.
Shrubsole indicated his wariness of some vendors on the market that see the buy side’s desire for global governance and centralisation as a revenue making opportunity rather than properly meeting firms’ requirements. Vendors and data managers need to bear in mind the different requirements of end users when constructing a solution, for example the importance of the timeliness of data is not the same for each asset class or function (front office trading versus compliance), he said. However, he noted that: “a cross-functional view of data quality is very tricky to achieve.”
Setting in place key performance indicators around such basics as timeliness and accuracy of data could be the first step in tackling this challenge, agreed Shrubsole. The decision to go down the managed services route should also be considered very carefully, he added, as responsibility for data quality can’t be outsourced completely to a third party. “Service level agreements (SLAs) are valuable but they can only go so far,” he said.
This is one key reason why the competence and capabilities of data management staff is so important to the industry going forward. As noted by many speakers at FIMA, attracting and keeping these staff members is not as easy as the industry would like.